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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Blaze attack victim was a child abuser

TRAGIC AFTERMATH: The scene at the house in Foley

11-8-2006 Ireland:
THE man who died from burns on Friday, following the horrific incident in which a gang burst into his home in south Armagh last week, was a convicted sex offender who was suspected locally of abusing an eight-year-old boy.

Thomas O'Hare, 33, was in the bungalow in Keady on Monday night with his girlfriend, 21-year-old Lisa McClatchey, when four men burst in and doused the couple and their living room with petrol.

McClatchey, who knew nothing of O'Hare's past, was described by local people as a complete innocent caught up in the apparent revenge attack. She is critically ill in hospital suffering from 80 per cent burns.

She and O'Hare were at home in his house near the village of Keady on Monday night when the four men burst in.

A struggle ensued in which the petrol was ignited, and all six were engulfed in flames. Neighbours said they heard an explosion, then saw Miss McClatchey running from the house with her clothes and hair on fire. One witness said she was like a fireball.

Four men were then driven off towards the border by two others.

Some hours later, four men, all brothers, were admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Two of them, aged 24 and 34, were transferred to St James's Hospital in Dublin where their conditions yesterday remained serious. All four are from Newtownhamilton in south Armagh, but two have been living in Dublin.

Gardai are investigating the case in co-operation with the PSNI, but have yet to make any arrests. They are awaiting the recovery of the two less-critically injured brothers before they are questioned.

According to some sources, their injuries were sustained at a site about a mile and a half away from the house, and the two incidents were a terrible coincidence.

On Friday, the PSNI arrested a 43-year-old man. A spokesman said the man was arrested in Co Armagh and was being questioned about murder, attempted murder and arson.

Thomas O'Hare had been placed on the PSNI's sex offenders list following a conviction in 1999 relating to the sexual assault of a young boy from south Armagh. He served a three-year jail-term, and had been living in the Craigavon area until recently. It is understood that while in Craigavon he struck up a relationship with Lisa McClatchey. Miss McClatchey's uncle, Harold Gracie, was the local senior Orangeman who led the Drumcree protest for several years until his death last year.

Local people said yesterday that O'Hare and McClatchey had only moved into the house at Foley, outside Keady, in recent months. It is understood that O'Hare inherited the bungalow from a relative who died earlier this year. Locals said the couple only stayed at the house a few days a week, and that O'Hare was believed to be refurbishing the house with the intention of selling it.

A local SDLP councillor, Sharon Haughey, said she believed that Mr O'Hare was the target of a vigilante attack, and it is understood that he may recently have had a "confrontation" in the area. ..more by JIM CUSACK

Four men to be quizzed over Armagh attack
11-15-2006 Ireland:
The PSNI is seeking to interview four men, currently undergoing treatment in St James's Hospital, in connection with the death of a couple in an attack in Co Armagh last week.

Thomas O Hare, 33, and 21-year-old Lisa Mc Clatchy, died as a result of burns they received when a group of masked men doused her house in petrol and set it alight.

The gang beat the couple with a sledge hammer and doused them with petrol before setting them on fire.

Mr O'Hare died three days after the attack, and Ms McClatchy succumbed to her injuries in the Royal Victoria Hospital this morning.

Four men, who are believed to be brothers from the same area in Co Armagh, presented themselves at a hospital in Dundalk with serious injuries an hour after the attack.

They were transferred to St James's Hospital in Dublin where they are described a being 'seriously ill'.

The four suffered burns ranging from 35% to 55%, and it is expected that they will require treatment for some time.

The PSNI also confirmed it is still looking for at least two other individuals in connection with the double murder.

It is seeking information on a dark coloured Vauxhall Vectra car, a Rover 200 series car and a BMW 3-series car seen in the in the Foley Road area of Ballymacnab on the evening of 6 November. ..more.. by RTE News

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